Texas Oil & Gas Regulator Getting Ready For 'Independence.' You Know, Just In Case.
Texas Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman is getting ready for the end of the world -- well, really, just the United States -- and WND feels fine. In fact, they're pretty excited about it, the way only wingnuts get excited, because Smitherman
talks about economic collapse as what will happen to the rest of the United States, not Texas. And he talks about energy policy as a way to make sure Texas commerce will continue, without the rest of the United States. And when he talks about the future, he focuses on Texas, because he believes there might not be the rest of the United States.
See a pattern?
Now, before you get too excited about Texas cutting itself loose, what Smitherman's really up to is just making sure that the extraction industries his commission "regulates" -- despite its name, it regulates oil and gas, not railroads -- can rip as many resources from the ground as possible as quickly as possible, because profits. And maybe they're buying some tactical children's backpacks, too, because after all, you never know when Obama might send in the U.N.
What we find really cute is that WND's John Griffing (needs a "t" in there) is so happy to eat up Smitherman's offhand references to prepper-talk:
“One of the things I’ve focused on in the last 10 years of my public sector life is preparing Texas to be a prosperous and safe place to work, regardless of what happens outside our borders,” he said.
“We are uniquely situated because we have energy resources, fossil and otherwise, and our own independent electrical grid. Generally speaking, we have made great progress in becoming an independent nation, an ‘island nation’ if you will, and I think we want to continue down that path so that if the rest of the country falls apart, Texas can operate as a stand-alone entity with energy, food, water and roads as if we were a closed-loop system.”
And of course, it's just "being prepared for the worst" that's motivating Smitherman to ramp up oil and gas production, fight environmental and labor regulations, and do everything possible to "[enable] the industry to produce as much as it can, as quickly as it can."
You know, so they can fill up the big gas tank before they close the gates to Bartertown to protect it from the motorcycle gangs with mohawks. Also something something Obama EPA unconstitutional usurpation states' rights, and global warming is a myth.
Oh, also? At the end of the piece? Griffing mentions, almost as an afterthought, that Smitherman is running for state Attorney General, which may be why he's doing everything he can to polish his rightwing credentials; Smitherman hopes to be just as conservative as outgoing AG Greg Abbott, who has dealt with such pressing issues as keeping the World Court from intruding in a Texas death penalty case and protecting a Ten Commandments display at the Texas Capitol.
We'll give Smitherman this much: He seems pretty fluent in Wingnut. And he seems to understand the zeitgeist of Texas, which, as Chuck Thompson noted, is perfectly summed up in the state flag: it looks just like the American flag without all the other states.
[ WND via the indispensable chascates ]